Low Cost Labor vs Low Labor Cost

My Sticky Note today comes from recent conversations and a popular narrative of the trade press and a national message repeated often by politicians and others.  The complaint has been, “we can’t find employees” or “we can’t find the right kind of employee” etc.  Although retired, I’m still very active in our industry and have

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Always Good Advice, “Trust but verify”—Trade Show Hype

I love our industry’s showcase events;  IWF and AWFS. What a wonderful opportunity to see our manufacturing community at its best. The world of manufacturing expertise comes to the US at these trade shows and shares their wealth of experience with anyone willing to take the time and effort to visit their booth. In addition

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You Don’t Know, What You Don’t Know

On the occasion of the most recent industry event of the year; The AWFS in Las Vegas,  I’m reminded of my many years in the machinery business and all of those trade shows. Over my career I’ve had the privilege of attending industry expositions in numerous countries and have come to a similar conclusion.  My

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As Frustrating as a Teenager

On the heels of a wonderful Father’s Day weekend, it’s back to work on Monday. However, I couldn’t shake the feeling that raising our children as teenagers has revisited itself in the form of observations regarding our industry. How I remember offering fatherly advice (without being asked) to my teenagers, you know the drill; eat

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What Ever Happened to Flex Hours?

 Now, before you skip over my hard work, this is NOT another lament on how to keep the millennials happy.  I’m suggesting these flex hours could be the key to keeping you happy. As I’ve said many times before, my 40 years in this industry have been spent on the the road observing just how

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Beware the Tyranny of Success

The good news is that our economy has recovered to the point where we can all enjoy a little success which might have eluded us in these last years.  However, my sticky note today is based on a very old quote ” Beware the Tyranny of Success”.  I think we can appreciate the irony in

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Departing Can Be So Sweet—If You Plan

So . . . I retired this week; now there’s a “Sticky Note” for you. It was bittersweet as I walked out the door for the last time after 35 years. I don’t intend to totally stay away, after all, I’ll still be active in the industry and will rely on their help every once

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Space Makes Waste

  I’m sure that many of you grew up hearing the phrase, “haste makes waste”. I’d like to borrow on that sentiment and direct it in a new way, “SPACE makes waste”. As I’ve said before, my career at Stiles has given me the privilege of visiting many of you in your shops. Lately my

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ROI = Return on Influence

If I can assume for a moment that my readers are seasoned business professionals, then I might also assume they’re dedicated to many different performance metrics, not the least of which is the standard; ROI = Return on Investment. However, this sticky note asks that you concentrate on a different ROI or Return on Influence.

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Ideas at Work

Many of my friends are serial entrepreneurs and manufacturers. Most run their own business and wear many hats. A common refrain is a lament that “I just can’t seem to get anything done.” “I have all these ideas and yet nothing happens.” Welcome to a world that’s filled with opportunity and yet, oddly enough, these

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